Over the next three to five years, expect global economic growth—currently centred in the U.S.—to broaden to other geographies, especially Europe and Japan.
Read: 3 surprises from the Fed
That’s the most likely of three main scenarios identified in BMO Global Asset Management’s Five-Year Outlook report, which examines long-term trends expected to dominate the global economy and markets over the next three to five years.
This base case scenario, to which the firm assigns a 60% likelihood, envisions relatively low energy prices, inflation and interest rates. While the U.S. economy will continue to be a catalyst for global economic growth, Japan, Europe, China and India will contribute as well.
The investment implications are primarily fueled by the premise of a widening global economic recovery and the effects of continued low oil prices. They include an overweighting to equity relative to fixed income and to attractive investing opportunities within emerging markets — especially India and commodity importing countries.
The upside-surprise scenario, to which the firm assigns a 20% chance of playing out, envisions a situation where policymakers around the globe get nearly everything right, both in the short and intermediate term.
The report states that the resulting investment implications of this scenario are best captured by a full “risk on” asset class exposure, focusing on cyclical sector equities and non-U.S. companies with high, domestically generated revenues — particularly among commodity producers.
The third scenario deals with the possibility that one or more policy errors result in a surprise slowdown in the world’s economy. The report assigns a 20% likelihood that this scenario will occur, and notes that, given the number of consequential policies being contemplated and the number of central banks contemplating them, there will be many opportunities for miscues.
Potential investment implications of the downside scenario center on the flight of money to quality and safety. This includes long-dated U.S. treasuries and large-capitalization equities from core European countries — such as Germany and the Netherlands — as well as the U.S.